Antony Owr

Doing, Being, Belonging

Oxford, United Kingdom

Many people with learning disabilities and autism are prevented from living fulfilling and rewarding lives because they are denied opportunities to gain entry to, and to flourish, in a workplace role.

Formed in 2018, Doing, Being, Belonging is a FarmAbility project which supports people with learning disabilities and autism to experience different working environments. Working together with Unipart Group, a large manufacturing and logistics business, and local charities Yellow Submarine and Aspire Oxford – the DBB team are in the initial stages of planning a series of volunteer and work placements for a number of people with learning disabilities, including a carpentry internship with
Oxford Wood Recycling.

Along with other supporters, sankalpa's investment has strengthened the team’s capacity to focus on progression – enabling people with learning disabilities and autism to explore moving on from their work at FarmAbility Gardens to other purposeful roles in Oxfordshire, by reaching out to local employers and supporting the local momentum for inclusive and diverse work forces.

Doing, Being, Belonging is currently exploring three strands:

  • To facilitate volunteer placements for people with learning disabilities and autism;
  • To create a model of supported work experiences to build the confidence of local employers to offer roles to people with learning disabilities;
  • To  explore how people with learning disabilities and autism can deliver farm-based programmes to people with dementia, thus demonstrating clear progression in terms of skills acquisition and confidence building - and disrupting the model of 'service provider' and 'service user'.

The combined output of these three strands will achieve an increase in meaningful roles for people with learning disabilities and autism in the workplace and in their local communities.

sankalpa is unique — as far as I know — in that they truly seek to support people and their ideas and innovations, rather than institutions, and as such support a strong belief in the transformative power of individuals to bring about positive social change.

Sarah Giles, Programme Director at Farmability
Jamie Jurys
Chris Cultivate

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